"This was all a wasteland" - how Sheffield's Dyson Place evolved into a popular dining venue inspired by London
Dyson Place is now a popular eating and shopping square, but five years ago it was a disused, derelict piece of land.
Martin Flowers, the managing director, planned to build the area into a popular space for people to come to eat, drink, and shop.
Since getting its first tenants, restaurant Tonco, in December 2019, Dyson Place has continued to attract new businesses, and now hosts restaurants, artisan shops, a barber and a health clinic.
Martin said: “I don’t vet businesses, but it is a curated space - I want the shops to be clean and tidy. I want passion in the food.
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“The design is inspired by places in London. I spent a lot of time travelling to London and Manchester and I copied their good ideas.
“This place was a wasteland a few years ago. The Cornerstone building was just a shell originally. We had the brickwork raised and we kept the original roof.
“Now the Cornerstone is like The Ivy. You couldn’t get the Ivy to come to Sheffield - I know because I approached them.
"If you are here to eat you don’t just have to sit at a table. There are shops to visit, you can look around.
“It’s like a piazza - at night when the lights are on, you are in a different country.”
Rachel Woolhouse, a seller at Inco Interiors, said: “It’s got a community feeling. People come to the cafes and then they come here.
"People come in and say this is a really cool shop. My boyfriend thinks it’s like Camden."
Richard Massarella, one of the owners of Cornerstone, said: “I don’t see the other restaurants as competition. There will always be something at Dyson Place that someone will like.
"We are just happy to be here, it’s great. I love it.”
Martin has managed to pull together an eclectic mix of retail and eateries and in so-doing, rejuvenated the area.
He said that staff at a furniture store across the street told him that they had seen footfall increase since the food court had been established.
He agreed that he would like for businesses to think of Dyson Place as place of prestige, like Bond Street in London. Martin added: “It is always evolving, I want to keep the standard high.”